Categorized | Sports

Rebels run out of cures against JCS

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Rebel forward Ben Tribble crashes in for a rebound against the JCS Eagles last week.

The flu made the news in Jackson last week.

The illness brought on the closing of Trinity Christian School and the University School of Jackson. One of their rivals, Jackson Christian School, the coughs of Madison County behind for the safehaven of the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Gymnasium Dec. 4 to take on the homestanding Rebels.

After tip-off, TRA Head Coach Jason Morgan started to see signs of his team getting sick falling behind in the second quarter. The Rebels fought their symptoms long enough to regain the lead and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter.

But it was the JCS Eagle using the medicine provide by center Lucas Pyron’s 35 points to pull out a 75-73 victory.

“There were two things that I saw,” Morgan noted. “Sometimes you can see a cold developing, you start to see the symptons. I saw some stuff start to develop in the second quarter I didn’t like. We got down by 7 or 8. Then we quickly snapped out of it.

“The two things I saw, we stopped moving our feet on defense,” he continued. “That gave them some easy buckets. The second thing, there was a stretch there in the second quarter we went away from Matt. He was open. We just stopped giving it to him.”

In the first quarter Matt “Moose” Moody was the focal point of the Rebels’ offense. The junior power forward helped TRA take a 7-4 lead with a post move for a basket, three-point play and put-back bucket.

JCS managed to tie the game at 12-12. Then Rebel point guard Braxton Ross did his best Moody impersonation with a rebound basket to make the score 14-12.

The Eagles finally took the lead at 16-14. JCS was ahead 19-16 late in the opening quarter when Moody scored another put-back basket.

Trailing by a point entering the second quarter, TRA tied the game at 20-20. Then the Rebels went away from their trademark pressure defense and moving their feet.

JCS proceeded with a 10-2 run to take a 30-22 lead. The Eagles located their post threat Pyron for layups. Meanwhile the ball didn’t go into the hands of Moody on the Rebels’ end.

Moody found the ball with a rebound and layup to end the JCS run and make the score 30-24. TRA chipped away at the JCS advantage with buckets from Logan Stewart, Conner Alexander and Moody.

Then when TRA guard Nick Biggs made a steal and went coast-to-coast for a score the Rebels were ahead 32-30. TRA led 36-34 with four more points from Moody to conclude the first half.

“It seemed like the whole third quarter, and we stressed it, we called plays to get the ball inside but didn’t,” Morgan recalled. “They ran a false double team.  Their defenders in the corners, unless his man had the ball, was designed to be on Matt.

“We continued not to move our feet very well,” he added. “Give them credit, they are well coached. They spread the floor and did a great job of rotating the ball. They got a lot of easy buckets.”

The Eagles took a 59-46 lead into the fourth quarter. And the JCS advantage stayed near double figures until the midway point of the final period when Ross hit a jumper in the lane.

The sccore was 71-62 in favor of the Eagles.

Then Moody did his best Ross impersonation when he passed to a cutting biggs for a layup to make the score 71-64.

Pyron had an answer for the TRA mini-run with a three-point play that made the score 74-64. The Rebels had one more rally remaining finding a cure to their illnesses.

TRA turned up the full court pressure and starting to attack the lane for a 7-0 run. Biggs made a pair of free throws and Alexander hit a bucket and drew a foul for a three-point play. After Ross drove to rim for a layup the score was 74-71.

Then the Eagles inbound the ball to their guard Walker Gorman. The junior was fouled but threw an elbow at Ross after the whistle drawing a technical foul.

Gorman made one of two free throws to make the score 75-71. Moody stepped to the line for the technical foul shots. And with 18.2 seconds remaining, Moody drained both shots to make the tally 75-73.

The Rebels had position of the ball with a chance to win. But the TRA fans left the gym feeling sick when the Rebels couldn’t hit a bucket. Time ran out and the Eagles were the victors.

Moody had 28 points and Alexander contributed 16.

“Credit my guys too,” Morgan concluded. “When we got down maybe 16 in the fourth quarter they said, ‘Hey, we’re not done.’ They moved their feet. They got the ball inside a little better. When they couldn’t get it to Matt, they drove it inside. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game.”

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